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NBC10 Philadelphia - Doug Shimell
NBC10's Doug Shimell got reaction from parents in Pottstown, Pa. about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 kids and eight adults.
As images of tragedy and heartache play out in Newtown, Conn., the Philadelphia school district community reacted with shock and horror.
"It's very frightening," said parent Christine Chung. "You can't be safe anywhere."
A community meeting planned to discuss the district's recent school closures announcement opened with a moment of silence, and included a sidebar discussion of school safety.
Police Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey said that even with metal detectors in Philadelphia high schools and videotaped visitor buzz-ins district-wide, there are still ways to improve school security that need to be examined in light of the latest massacre.
"In light of yesterday's tragedy," Dorsey said, "We are going to collaborate with the city of Philadelphia ... and anyone that can help us in ensuring our schools are safe as possible ... We're going to have to re-think our strategies, re-think our resources.
"Keeping the school, [the] perimeter of the school safe," Dorsey continued. "That integrity has to be kept in place. If the intruder doesn't get in, the chance of something like what happened yesterday is mitigated."
But parents who spoke to NBC10 said that school security isn't the only element to keeping our kids safe. Conversations at home, and taking action when someone appears troubled are also big pieces of the puzzle.
"You can only do so much as far as locking the kids in the school," said one parent, Terrance Coleman.
Melode, the parent of a high school student, agreed.
"The discussion I had with my daughter was that you have to be vigilant, you have to always watch out. And if you hear someone talking about doing something dangerous like that, tell someone."